What to Do With Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scape Pesto
Roasted Garlic Scapes
Garlic Scape Soup
Mashed Potatoes with Garlic Scapes
Orzo Pasta Risotto with Forest Mushrooms and Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are the tops of the stalks of hardnecked garlic varieties. Farmers used to lop them off and discard them a month or so before harvesting the garlic bulbs, so that the plant would redirect all of its energy  to the bulb. That was a shame because the scapes are a tasty treat. These days, they are increasingly common in farmers markets for a month or two each spring. If they are picked before the stalks turn woody, they are as tender as green onions, but with a fresh, green garlicky taste.

garlic scapes

garlic scapes from the farmers market in Ithaca, N.Y., July 11, 2009

Garlic Scape Pesto [top]

1 dozen garlic scapes
1 cup parsley
1 ½ cup walnuts
½ – 1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice

1. In a food processor, blend ingredients. You can add Parmesan, pine nuts, or basil if you’d like. Blend until smooth.

Roasted Garlic Scapes [top]

Garlic scapes
Sea or Kosher salt
Olive oil

1. Preheat over to 425 °F.

2. Take the scapes and put them in a lightly oiled roasting pan, top with salt.

3. Put the loaded and covered pan in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until they are beginning to turn brown.

4. Serve as a side or main dish.

Garlic Scape Soup [top]

2 tablespoons clarified butter or extra-virgin olive oil
2 dozen garlic scapes, chopped
3 large russet potatoes, unpeeled and cut into ½ inch dice
5 cups vegetable stock or water
2 large handfuls spinach leaves, stemmed
Juice of ½ lemon
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
Chive blossoms, for garnish (optional)

1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add scapes and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and stock, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and beginning to break down.

2. Remove from the heat, add the spinach, and puree using a hand blender. (If you must use a conventional blender, be careful; the hot liquid can burst out the top and make a huge, potentially painful mess. Try leaving the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Cover the top with a kitchen towel and blend in batches at low speed.) Season with the lemon juice, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Whisk in the cream for a silkier texture.

3. If the soup tastes flat, add salt a few big pinches at a time until the flavors really pop. Serve garnished with the chive blossoms.

Mashed Potatoes with Garlic Scapes [top]

2 ½ lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces.
2 Tablespoons butter (can omit this if on a restricted fat diet/lifestyle)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped scapes
¼ cup hot milk (or more)

1. Cook potatoes until very tender. Drain and return to pot.

2. Over medium high heat, melt butter with olive oil in a small skillet. Add scapes and saute about 5 minutes. Add to potatoes and mash.

3. Gradually add milk while stirring. Season with salt and pepper.

Source: Mariquita Farm

Orzo Pasta Risotto with Forest Mushrooms and Garlic Scapes [top]

1 onion, small diced
3 Tablespoons olive oil, plus another 3 Tablespoons
Salt and pepper
8 ounces chicken stock
1 pound orzo
1 portabello mushroom
3 shiitake mushrooms
3 garlic scapes
2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
3 Tablespoons truffle butter
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus shavings
3 ounces baby arugula

1. In a large pot over low heat, slowly cook the onion in 3 Tablespoons olive oil until it is translucent and tender. Season onion with salt and pepper.

2. In a separate saucepot bring the stock to a boil and keep hot. Add orzo pasta to onions and mix thoroughly. Gradually add stock to pasta and cover completely. Cook pasta at a low simmer and stir carefully to avoid sticking.

3. In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil and sear mushrooms and garlic scapes until golden brown. Add butter. Let butter become golden brown, then strain the mushrooms and scapes and reserve. In a cold bowl, whisk the heavy cream until slightly thick.

4. Cook the pasta until it is firm to the bite. Finish the pasta with truffle butter, Parmesan cheese, and the baby arugula. Add the heavy cream at the very end before serving.

5. In a large bowl spoon pasta into the center and place mushrooms and scapes over top. Shave a block of Parmesan cheese with a potato peeler to get thin shavings, and use them to garnish the dish.

Source: Chef Dante Boccuzzi, StarChefs